Monarda didyma 'Blue Stocking' ('Blaustrumpf') - Beebalm
30 open pollinated seeds from our gardens for $4.00.
Monarda didyma (Beebalm) is a perennial herb that is native to North America and belongs to the mint family. Beebalm is a traditional favourite for the perennial border or herb gardens, providing a striking display of richly-coloured flowers through the summer months. 'Blue Stocking" features bright violet-purple flowers, arranged in large, shaggy heads that are approximately 6cm across. Plants grow to around 90cm in height. Cut plants down to 3cm from the ground after flowering; this will promote new growth and a second flowering. Foliage is delightfully fragrant.
Beebalm prefers partial shade but tolerates full sun. Plant where there is good air circulation to prevent powdery mildew which can hit leaves in late summer. It is important to take care when watering the plant, water directly at the roots ensuring the leaves stay dry.
Grow Beebalm in moist but well-drained soil rich in organic matter. Bee balm prefers a soil pH of 6.5 to 8. Mulch Beebalm in winter to protect roots from cold.
Cut back plants periodically to keep them compact. Divide plants every 3 or 4 years as this will help keep plants compact and control spreading.
Monarda flowers are excellent fresh or dry cut flowers. Cut flowers for drying when blooms are almost fully open and air dry for around 3 weeks. Dried flowers and leaves are used in potpourri.
Beebalm tastes and smells like mint with citrusy undertones of orange and lemon. The petals taste like oregano or marjoram . Use them to sprinkle on salads or on pizza just out of the oven. Leaves are used in herbal teas. Harvest leaves as needed. For best flavor, harvest leaves before flower buds open.
Seeds are best cold stratified for three months before sowing. If you are in a warmer area, place seeds in a container to keep them dry and place in the refrigerator for three months. Seeds require direct light to germinate properly. So gently sprinkle seeds on the surface of good quality potting mix. Water and keep damp but not wet. Germination takes 14 to 28 days after sowing. Grow plants to a height of around 10cm and transplant them into the garden.
Also known as: Bergamot (as the scent is similar to the orange variety bergamot) and Oswego tea (the Oswego Indians made tea from the leaves).